2015, VOLUME 2 ISSUE 3Pages: 215-223
Application of information technology and GIS in agroforestry
Rajesh Kumar Mishra* and Rekha Agarwal
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Computer-based Decision Support Tools (DST) helps to integrate information to facilitate the decision-making process that directs development, acceptance, adoption, and management aspects in agroforestry. Computer-based DSTs include databases, geographical information systems, models, knowledge-base or expert systems, and ‘hybrid’ decision support systems. Although agroforestry lacks the large research foundation of its agriculture and forestry counterparts, the development and use of computer-based tools in agroforestry have been substantial and are projected to increase as the recognition of the productive and protective (service) roles of these tree-based practices expands. The utility of these and future tools for decision-support in agroforestry must take into account the limits of our current scientific information, the diversity of aspects (i.e. economic, social, and biophysical) that must be incorporated into the planning and design process, and, most importantly, who the end-user of the tools will be. Incorporating these tools into the design and planning process will enhance the capability of agroforestry to simultaneously achieve environmental protection and agricultural production goals. This paper highlights the relevance of information technology (IT) in Agroforestry. Existing areas of applications such as forest and environmental management, specie identification and research publications are identified. The paper also looked into future possible usage of information technology and concludes that while the application of information technology to Agroforestry practices nowadays is of tremendous importance it is important to know that there are still more areas where information technology would be applicable in Agroforestry which are yet to be discovered.
Fig.: Wheat based agro-forestry system.